Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Found Leaving Royal Life Was "Harder Than They Would Have Ever Imagined"

"The hardest part for them was taking those initial steps away..."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
  • While they have been open about the struggles they faced while they were working royals, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also found their royal exit to be "harder than they would have imagined," according to royal author Omid Scobie.
  • "The hardest part for them was taking those initial steps away from their royal roles," Scobie said in a recent interview. "That was harder than they would [have] ever imagined. They had had it all mapped out in their heads."
  • Scobie is the coauthor of Finding Freedom, a royal biography focused on Harry and Meghan's royal exit. The book was released in August 2020 and the paperback edition, due out August 31, will include a new epilogue.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are both people who have that natural kind of poise that can make everything they do look effortless from the outside, but even the Duke and Duchess of Sussex deal with struggles.

This is something Harry and Meghan have been very honest about, of course, from their emotional and candid sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year to Harry's appearances in The Me You Can't Seehis and Oprah's Apple TV+ series about mental health.

According to royal biographer and reporter Omid Scobie, Harry and Meghan actually had a really hard time stepping away from their royal duties and lives as working royals.

"The hardest part for them was taking those initial steps away from their royal roles," Scobie told People. "That was harder than they would [have] ever imagined. They had had it all mapped out in their heads."

Scobie if definitely an authority when it comes to all things royal exit-related. He co-authored Finding Freedom (aka the definitive royal biography about Harry and Meghan's royal exit), with fellow royal reporter Carolyn Durand. The book, based on interviews with people close to the Sussexes, was originally published in August 2020 and is getting an update for its paperback edition, which comes out August 31. The update comes in the form of a new epilogue that covers some of what Meghan and Harry have gone through in the last year.

Apparently, the Sussexes have had to play things by ear a bit since their royal exit and be willing to adapt their vision for what life will look like going forward.

"They knew that they had to change things, but what they had actually planned wasn't actually what was best," Scobie said. "They tried to find a way to compromise, but would that have enabled them to have that level of happiness and security that they have today? Probably not. Those ties to the institution [of the monarchy] would have still been strong and there would have constantly been issues about financial endeavors and the business decisions they made."

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Kayleigh Roberts
Kayleigh Roberts

Kayleigh Roberts is the weekend editor at Marie Claire, covering celebrity and entertainment news, from actual royals like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle to Hollywood royalty, like Katie Holmes and Chrissy Teigen. She’s a Ravenclaw who would do great things in Slytherin. To learn more about her, google “Leslie Knope eating salad GIF.